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Monday, August 15th, 2022 by Samantha Dunn
Generating successful Pay-Per-Click campaigns requires many steps: extensive research, keyword attribution, bids, and modifications, to name a few. But, what if all these steps and data points could be handled by machines? Well, Google has been moving in that direction, and now embedded into Google's products (including PPC ads) is a specific type of artificial intelligence called machine learning. With machine learning, Google is leveraging the incredible power of artificial intelligence to automate PPC bidding strategies in a new platform titled Smart Bidding. With Smart Bidding, the “machine” quickly considers a wide set of data points and signals to determine the best possible PPC bid for a single user with the goal to maximize conversion. In the old manual bidding technique, there are about 10-20 signals available to use. According to an ex-Google employee who has published hard-to-find stats on this inside process, the new Smart Bidding platform has over 500K signals that are processed in milliseconds.
What does this Smart Bidding platform mean for PPC results? Well, better bids are more accurate bids. The multiple Smart Bidding signals (or, data points), allow for a more accurate and detailed bidding strategy. For example, smart bidding algorithms may bid higher based on a user’s browser history, a variable we never had access to before. Utilizing this factor in our PPC bidding strategy is revolutionary, giving us new access to the customer journey as an important PPC consideration.
Since this platform was first introduced in 2016, The Treehouse has run multiple trials to properly test Smart Bidding. The outcome was consistently a higher spend for fewer leads, a common result that other agencies reported. It wasn’t until 2022 that our most recent round of in-depth testing garnered consistently positive results.
Now, Smart Bidding is working to your benefit: with increased lead volume and improved conversion that results in a decreased CPL (on average). Take a look at the results from a set of sites we tested over a 6-month span that illustrate this improved conversion rate.
Although this new bidding process uses ‘Smart’ Bidding, there are still multiple inputs that require manual decision-making to keep campaigns on track. Campaigns that are not carefully monitored can ‘run wild’ and turn away from a lead generation focus. Our teams need to keep watch and consistently tweak the campaigns to make sure the machine learning is aligned with our goals. This shifts our focus from constantly adjusting bids, to now strategizing and optimizing campaigns for maximum results
THE BOTTOM LINE
At the end of the day, Google is still in the business of generating clicks, while Treehouse is in the business of getting you leads. That is why we continue to thoroughly test - and test again - updates from any source before applying them to your web strategy. Smart Bidding is only as effective as the minds working behind it. Our expert PPC team will leverage this new platform intelligently to deliver even more positive results for our dealers.